Prevue of Tomorrow: Peter Madsen
Peter Madsen – piano
1. boo
2. subterfuge
3. three-four vs. six-eight four-four ways
4. the bird song
5. the third world
6. rick kich shaw
7. a portrait of the living sky
8. blues for africa
9. the girl from greenland
10. leave me
Whereas pianist Peter Madsen's acclaimed 2003 solo debut Sphere Essence: Another Side of Monk reinvented the Thelonious Monk catalog, Prevue of Tomorrow finds him revisiting a much wider swath of piano history in a program that includes Muhal Richard Abrams' "The Bird Song," Hasaan Ibn Ali's "Three-Four vs. Six-Eight Four-Four Ways," Andrew Hill's "Subterfuge," Herbie Nichols' "The Third World," Sun Ra's "A Portrait of the Living Sky," Cecil Taylor's "Rick Kick Shaw," Lennie Tristano's "Leave Me," Richard Twardzik's "The Girl From Greenland," Randy Weston's "Blues for Africa," and Mal Waldron's "Boo."
Top 10 of 2006 list
— Ken Dryden, Coda
Top 10 Recordings of 2006 List
— Ken Dryden,
In a year that saw new CDs by Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau, this is one of the more striking piano recordings. Madsen, who can be heard gracing recordings by bassist Mario Pavone and guiatrist Michael Musillami, pays tribute to his piano roots with a 10-song set that is creative as well as highly personal. When you can transform songs by Sun Ra, Herbie Nichols, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill (and others), all unique composers and stylists, and create a soundtrack that sounds fresh, you make listeners sit up and take notice.
— Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant Blog: See! Hear!
Top 10 Albums of 2006 list
— Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York
Confrontational and interesting.
— The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (8th Edition)
Madsen has chosen to dive into pieces that have had a formative effect on him and his work; his prodigious technique gets him through, but his imaginative approach to this music makes the disc a must-hear...he demonstrates a huge breadth of understanding and experience, having fully assimilated the musical contexts and stylistic traits of his chosen composers. Devotees of any of these composers owe it to themselves to check this out.
— Mark Medwin, Cadence
Giunto alla soglia dei cinquant'anni, Peter Madsen imprime una improvvisa svolta alla sua musica grazie a questa incisione in solitudine per la label indipendente Playscape. Scorrendo l'elenco dei brani, si arguisce ancora di più quanto Madsen ci tenga a distanziarsi dai percorsi più battuti per accostarsi ad un repertorio relegato ai margini dalla più convenzionale pratica jazzistica. Lo spirito di questo interessante quanto impegnativo lavoro si intravede in un creativo processo di riorganizzazione sonora, volta a variare le modulazioni tematiche e loro dinamiche strutturali di tutti gli standard affrontati.
— Maurizio Zerbo, AllAboutJazz-Italia
Each piece is closely explored with a clear emphasis on exposing the melody from several directions. Consistenly intriguing.
— Nick Pitt, Coda
Une vraie révélation.
— Stéphane Ollivier, Jazzman
In all, Madsen presents 10 compelling pieces, deftly personalized with dynamic improvisations that, in a perfect world, would indeed set the bar for the next wave of jazz invention...this CD is a rare gift.
— Sam Prestianni, Jazziz
In this stunning solo piano session, Peter Madsen draws from a vast array of compositions by other jazz pianists, ranging from bop to post-bop, African jazz, and avant-garde jazz. Though seasoned jazz collectors may be unfamiliar with many of these works, Madsen's provocative interpretations are very stimulating and will invite comparisons to the original recordings. His treatments of the music of Mal Waldron, Andrew Hill, Herbie Nichols, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, and Lennie Tristano also merit high praise.
— Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
Rejecting the simplistic sequence of modern jazz piano history, Peter Madsen's 50th birthday present to himself is a 10-track solo disc that confirms his mastery of the idiom while expanding the pantheon of keyboard luminaries. Suffice it to say that Prevue of Tomorrow is one of the most memorable solo CDs of the past few years. At the half century mark, he appears capable of doing whatever he wishes to set his mind to and can express with his fingers.
— Ken Waxman,
His improvisations have a deep-rooted harmonic strength, and he makes this a takeoff point for some colourful and imaginative flights. His references are marked with strong chord structures that find their mate in a freewheeling or contemplative right hand. Madsen plays with gentility, his runs swift and punctuated with the deeper tonalities of his left hand, the calmness at times ruffled by the rumble of the chords as he lets improvisation find a luminescent voice.
— Jerry D'Souza,
Recommended New Release
— Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York
Prevue of Tomorrow is a solo tour-de-force, a musical journey of Madsen's roots, moving from the traditional "bop" sounds of Richard Twardzik's "The Girl from Greenland" to Muhal Richard Abrams' expressionistic "The Bird Song." All 10 of the songs helped to form the pianist's musical personality. Madsen, always a technically brilliant player, has taken the music of his mentors and made it his own.
— Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant
Madsen acknowledges the echoes of Hasaan's pounce, Nichols's savior faire, Taylor's percussive arias, Tristano's bass clef rumbles, Hill's italicized lyricism, and so on embedded in these pieces—how could he not? But these echoes never obscure his own technical prowess or improvisatory reach. He's the maverick's maverick, and this could well prove the year's most unlikely tour de force.
— Francis Davis, Village Voice
Recommended New Release
— David Adler, AllAboutJazz-New York (April 2005)
Madsen outfits each of the ten pieces with an array of personal touches, but is careful to convey indelible aspects of each composer in his renderings. As exciting as these cuts are it's the versions of Taylor's "Rick Kick Shaw" and Weston's "Blues for Africa" that rank as the knockouts to my ears. Solo repertory piano projects are not exactly rare endeavors these days, but Madsen's concerted stab at the form yields something special, a case of old bottles housing new, intensely intoxicating wine if ever there was one.
— Derek Taylor, Bagatellen extremely well-played jazz-repertory record of solo piano by Peter Madsen, entirely representative of those who never quite fit in. Mr. Madsen makes these pieces and others cohere as a solid program, a tradition of outside-jazz thinking unified by unusual structure, meters and harmonic motion. It's the most conscientious job I've ever seen of a jazz musician building an alternative canon in just one record.
— Ben Ratliff, New York Times
This is simply a brilliant overview of modern jazz piano reaching back over the last half century.
— Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery